Whole-Person Healing

Whole-Person Healing

The Restoration Space brings holistic physical therapy to the Lehigh Valley

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you’re looking for a different result from your current pain management tactics, a new business in South Bethlehem might be the welcome—and healing—change of pace you need. 

Nestled between centuries-old trees and historic mansions, The Restoration Space in Fountain Hill is an integrative health care practice focusing on whole-person health—that means healing the mind, body, and soul to achieve a balanced, pain-free life. If words like pseudo-science are rushing to mind, make no mistake: this is evidence-based care, but with your best interest at the center of it. And yes, they take insurance! 

At the heart of The Restoration Space sit two physical therapists, Megan Eyvazzadeh, PT, DPT, OCS, and Julie Spencer, PT, DPT, committed to bringing a different type of physical therapy practice to the Lehigh Valley—where the first priority is the patient, not the bottom line. 

How it all Started

“Sixty-percent of people with chronic pain have some sort of trauma history,” says Eyvazzadeh, who became frustrated with the common model of physical therapy treatment early in her career. “Physical therapists are trained to do real movement science and analysis, and if you’re seeing two to three people at a time, especially those with deeper trauma issues, it’s not the way people get the best care.”

Trauma isn’t new to Eyvazzadeh—she spent years working in the shock trauma department at a Baltimore hospital. But continuing education triggered an important revelation: patients who experience trauma tend to heal slower, despite the best of efforts.

“When we’re dealing with pain or injury associated with any sort of trauma—natural disasters, car accidents, sexual trauma—I quickly found that people don’t heal the way they do in the textbooks. All the factors for healing can be right, but they simply aren’t healing.”

“There’s nutrition, mindfulness, and self-awareness–things that just one practitioner could never give them alone.”

After a particularly frustrating day, Eyvazzadeh found herself venting to her neighbor who happened to know of another physical therapist, Spencer, with the same frustrations. They’ve since recruited Pilates instructors, counselors with trauma experience, an art therapist, massage therapists, an acupuncturist, an energy practitioner, and a registered dietician nutritionist—all independent contractors—to The Restoration Space to approach ailments from all angles.

What They Treat

Since opening in February, they’ve treated patients for a myriad of conditions, including low back pain, plantar fasciitis, incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, athletic injury, chronic pain (from conditions like autoimmune diseases, stress, and fibromyalgia), balance issues, falls, and oncology scar tissue patients. Many of these patients have failed traditional therapy, are seeking one-on-one personal approach, or haven’t seen a doctor in years—sometimes because they weren’t believed.

Patients often come in for a specific complaint and end up receiving treatment for a variety of issues—be they mental, physical, or emotional—on the search for the “root cause” of their pain. But for as many conditions as they’ve seen walk through the door of this South Bethlehem converted mansion, there’s one thing that remains at the core of The Restoration Space’s mission: women’s health.

Since moving to the Lehigh Valley 13 years ago, Spencer has worked diligently to raise awareness of pelvic girdle and pelvic floor issues in the community. But normalizing conditions that are, frankly, difficult to talk about has been slow. “What has been the most frustrating is there is so much we can do for these patients, but they’re not even aware of their options,” says Spencer. “There’s nutrition, mindfulness, and self-awareness—things that just one practitioner could never give them alone,” and definitely not in the typical 10- to 15-minute office visit. 

What to Expect

There’s nothing typical about an appointment at The Restoration Space. Right from the get-go, Spencer and Eyvazzadeh want to know all about your sleep, diet, stress levels, trauma history, relationship with food, and social support network. From there, you’re entered into a multifaceted care regimen tailored to your work schedule, your budget, and your own totally validated feelings. And if you’re receiving physical therapy, you won’t be sharing a therapist with other patients. They are totally focused on you.

“We try to treat across a continuum,” explains Eyvazzadeh. “We’d like to progress you outside these walls by connecting you with resources in your community like running groups, dance therapy, and yoga studios.” Plus, she says, it’s a good ego check. “If you aren’t healing, I can go to my colleagues and ask, what am I missing?”

“I love what I do,” adds Spencer, “but I need the help of a team to be able to effectively treat the whole [person].”

Know Before You Go: Acupuncture

What it is: A medical system that dates back thousands of years, involving the insertion of fine needles along specific points on one of the 14 meridians, or pathways, of the body with the aim of restoring balance and preventing disease.

What to go for: Nearly any condition. Most typically used for chronic pain management, psycho-emotional conditions, anxiety, depression, insomnia, fertility, digestive issues, oncology pain, autoimmune diseases, and sports injuries.

What happens: Your licensed acupuncturist will ask you a few questions before inserting 10-15 hair-thin needles into the skin. You’ll rest with the needles in place for 20-30 minutes before they’re removed.

How often you’ll go: Once a week at first. Time between sessions increase as conditions improve.

Potential side effects: Relaxation, occasional small bruising.

Typical cost: $35-$90 per session

Source: Rachelle Matias, L.OM Acupuncturist/Herbalist, The Restoration Space

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